Exhale into the balloon…..COMPLETELY.
PAUSE, holding your breath out until you start feeling desperate for air and perhaps a little longer.
Without letting any air from the balloon into your lungs, and without pinching or closing off the balloon opening, INHALE through your nose keeping the balloon in your mouth.
REPEAT until the balloon is full.
This is to fully relax the diaphragm and help activate the deep abdominal muscles and pelvic floor
This is like a diaphragm “reset” - it gives your diaphragm a “rest” break and allows your brain enough time to feel what it is like to relax (the diaphragm). It slows the breathing rate.
The only way to keep the air in the balloon while keeping the airway open is to actively keep your deep abdominals on and your pelvic floor working in sync with your diaphragm while it contracts. It keeps your lower front ribs down while pushing air into your ribcage in 3 dimensions - especially the back.
"wow, Sarah, my back is more relaxed!"
“Breathing is the first act of life and the last. Our very life depends on it. Since we cannot live without breathing it is tragically deplorable to contemplate the millions and millions who have never mastered the art of correct breathing.” - Joseph Pilates
****Warning: please do not perform if you have latex allergies, recent abdominal surgery, are post-pardum _____, recent cesarean section, have an uncontrolled rectus diastisis, have extreme urinary incontinence issues, pelvic hernias or recent open heart surgery.
For non-balloon qualifiers: try blowing into your fist, a straw (the narrower the more difficult), or blowing on a windmill. When you get stronger you may graduate to a balloon provided you no longer are dealing with the above conditions.